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October 11, 2013

Hoboken’s QLC Announces Candidate Forums for Mayor, City Council, BOE and Rent Control

Filed under: City Of Hoboken News,Hoboken,Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — TheBoken @ 1:30 PM

Hoboken Candidate Forums October 2013

The Hoboken Quality of Life (QLC) announces the following political events as we head to the finish line in Hoboken’s 2013 election season:

The Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition is pleased to announce the dates for its election-year candidates’ forums, a tradition the Coalition has maintained for nearly a decade. The forums give Hoboken voters an opportunity to hear directly from the candidates running for mayor, council at large and Board of Education in the November 5, 2013, election. In addition, the QLC will host a debate on the ballot question concerning rent control. These events are arranged by the Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition, Inc., and moderated by Bob Bowdon, a professional interviewer and longtime resident of Hoboken, who has expertly conducted QLC-sponsored forums over the last six years.

The events this year are as follows:

  • Council at Large Candidate Forum  - Tuesday, October 22, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 1005 Washington Street.
  • Mayoral Candidates Forum  - Wednesday, October 23, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 1005 Washington Street.
  • Rent Control Ballot Question Forum – Monday, October 28, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Our Lady of Grace School Auditorium, Willow Avenue at 5th Street
  • Board of Education forum – Tuesday, October 29, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Our Lady of Grace School Auditorium, Willow Avenue at 5th Street

For the Board of Education forum, the Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition welcomes its co-sponsors The Parish of Our Lady of Grace and Saint Joseph, as well as the Hoboken Family Alliance.

As in previous candidates forums, these will follow an established format: Written questions will be solicited from the audience and submitted to a three-person panel who will select the clearest and most concise questions on a wide range of topics. On most occasions, board members of the non-partisan Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition will be the selectors.  At the Board of Education event, the three-person panel of selectors will include a representative from Our Lady of Grace Parish and the Hoboken Family Alliance.

Each candidate will have an opportunity to make opening introductory and closing remarks, and a timekeeper will ensure that time limits are respected in answering questions.

About the QLC:

Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition is a non-profit, non-partisan citizen organization that has been active in Hoboken over the last decade. The QLC led the successful efforts to prevent construction of the Devils hockey arena in southern Hoboken, was instrumental in forging the western alignment of the Light Rail route in Hoboken, and with several other groups fought the early battles to secure 1600 Park Avenue as designated parkland.  It participates with other civic organizations to advocate for ordinances for good government practices and to protect the historic structures that lend the city its character.  In 2008, QLC formed the Committee for a Green Hoboken, which worked with the city on an agreement to control carbon dioxide emissions and sustainable development ordinances, and helped secure funding for a energy audit of municipal buildings.

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June 19, 2013

City of Hoboken Prevails in Dismissing Class Action Lawsuit

Filed under: City Of Hoboken News,Hoboken — Tags: , , , , — TheBoken @ 10:00 AM

More good news for the Hoboken taxpayer in the overall picture:

CITY OF HOBOKEN PREVAILS IN DISMISSING CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT

cityhallphoto

Superior Court Judge Mary K. Costello, the Presiding Judge of the Civil Division in Hudson County, has dismissed a class action lawsuit against the City surrounding the administration of its rent control ordinance.

The suit was brought in 2010 by Gina DeNardo who alleged that the City misapplied the ordinance over a number of years to the detriment of landlords. The City has vigorously defended against this class action lawsuit for the last three years and steadfastly held to its position that the City and its officers have followed and administered the rent control ordinance in good faith for all resident landlords and tenants alike.

Over the last two decades, rent control in the City has been the subject of numerous court cases. Accordingly, the City argued in its summary judgment motion that it had faithfully applied the ordinance in light of the outcomes of those lawsuits. Judge Costello agreed with Hoboken that the Mayor and Rent Regulation Officer faithfully administered the ordinance in light of the lawsuits that have guided its application. She dismissed the class action lawsuit in its entirety based upon qualified immunity grounds stemming from the City’s good faith reliance on court decisions that guided the scope of the ordinance.

“I am very pleased with this decision that confirms that the City has acted properly with regard to the administration of our rent control laws,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “This latest court victory demonstrates once again the importance of making the necessary investment to vigorously defend the City’s interests.”

The City was represented by Victor A. Afanador and Jeffrey A. Shooman of Lite DePalma Greenberg, LLC in Newark.

Editor Comment: I think it is important for the City of Hoboken to vigorously defend themselves in court to protect the taxpayer’s interest. In the past many lawsuits were simply settled which in my opinion created a moral hazard or incentive for many to sue the City of Hoboken knowing a settlement was most likely. The Mayor’s critics on the City Council, aka the “Old Guard” have consistently complained about legal costs but what they leave out is that in the opinion of the City of Hoboken these cases should be contested and in many cases have little merit. Keep in mind the City of Hoboken has won a vast majority of cases and only settled a few. It will take time but as long as we have a Mayor who is committed to fighting the legal-go-round that created the culture of suing Hoboken to make a quick buck (oh and the attorneys got their cut too) over time the incentive to sue will dissipate.

Please note that my comments have nothing to do with the merits of this case specifically but the overall legal picture. The previous Rent Control Ordinance has been changed to limit the amount of claw-back a tenant could get from a current owner for over charging even if it was due to the previous owner if the property had been sold. That was one of the major issues with rent control in Hoboken and it has been addressed legislatively.

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November 27, 2012

Hoboken Local Election Results – Finalized by Hudson County – Kids First Sweeps BOE, Election Reforms Pass, and Rent Control Narrowly Upheld

Filed under: Education,Hoboken,Politics — Tags: , , , , , — TheBoken @ 5:40 PM

The local Hoboken election results from Tuesday November 6th have finally been certified due to delays from Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath.

Here are the certified totals from the Hudson County Clerk’s Office (drum roll please):

Jean Marie Mitchell, Ruth McAllister and Thomas Kluepfel of Kids First, the Hoboken BOE slate that was endorsed by Mayor Zimmer won all three Board of Education Seats at stake. Jean Marie Mitchell had only been ahead 6 votes before the provisional and electronic votes were counted as was able to further widen her lead. After the initial machine tally the third seat was the only seat that was still in question. Now the results are finalized and a clean sweep for Kids First and their political allies including Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

Rent control advocates win by a mere 52 votes! (Question #2). This just goes to show every vote can count in Hoboken. The public questions to move municipal elections to November wins easily (3 to 1) and runoffs are eliminated though by a lesser but still significant margin (Questions #3 and #1 respectively).

With these changes the Mayoral election will now be election day in November 2013. The City Council Ward members will also have their terms extended until November of 2015 as well instead of the previous May term. Mayor Zimmer had lobbied for Kids First, a yes vote on election reform questions 1 and 3, and for rejecting Public Question 2 which would have enabled vacancy decontrol. Although the last question was decided by a very close, Mayor Dawn Zimmer has no doubt secured a clean sweep and major victory against her political opponents. In the wake of her tireless efforts in recovering from Hurricane Sandy, is there any real opposition to her getting re-elected next November? Time will tell.

For reference here is the link to the Hudson County Election Results: http://www.hudsoncountyclerk.org/cgi-bin/election.pl

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October 24, 2012

Save Rent Control Music Jam and Fundraiser Thursday October 25th at Maxwell’s Starting 8pm

There is a party tomorrow night October 25th at Maxwell’s starting at 8pm that has a bunch of bands including The FAVE to support the Hoboken Fair Housing Association’s efforts to save Rent Control. Local Question 2 is on the ballot this and a yes vote would end the current structure of rent control for many apartments in Hoboken as some activists see it and a no vote would keep things the way they are.

Regardless of where you stand on this issue this promises to be a great lineup of local musicians. Just don’t wear a “I’m with the upper 1%” button. You might not be too popular.

Maxwell’s is at 1039 Washington Street in Hoboken (NE corner). For more information on the rent control organization Hoboken Fair Housing Association please go to www.hobokenfairhousing.com. For the opposing position in favor of rent control changes, The Mile Square Taxpayers Association you can go to http://hobokenmsta.com/. 

 

Also, if you are still undecided on the rent control issue Question #2 on the ballot, there is a forum tonight October 24th to hear the issues discussed at OLG School which starts at 7pm tonight and runs for 2 hours . There will be no live music at this event but the two sides of the issue will have a chance to present their case….

 

 

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October 19, 2012

Open Public Forum on Rent Control Question #2 – Our Lady Of Grace School – Wednesday October 24, 2012

Filed under: Hoboken,Politics — Tags: , , , , , — TheBoken @ 11:20 AM

Here are the first of two forums from the Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition with respect to local issues coming up in November’s election. There is more at stake then just the presidential election in Hoboken. This forum below has a discussion open to the public on the heated issue of rent control.

Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition’s
Open Public Forum on Rent Control Question #2

Our Lady Of Grace School Willow and 5th in Hoboken
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 – 7 to 9 p.m.

When: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 – 7 to 9 p.m.
Where: At Our Lady of Grace School, Willow at 5th 
Event Description: Discussion of impacts of Local Resolution #2  on The Hoboken Rent Control Ordinance . Voters will be asked to vote on November 6 Ballot – Yes or No?

Participants:

  • Mile Square Tax Payers Association: Ron Simoncini and Charles Gormally, Esq.
  • Hoboken Fair Housing Association and NJ Tenant Association: Dan Tumpson and Matt Shapiro.

Below is the question as printed on the November 6, 2012 for Hoboken residents. There was was controversy over the wording of this question. This is a simplification but a yes vote ends rent control as we know it, otherwise known as vacancy decontrol for the most part according to supporters of rent control and a no vote would keep the current ordinance on rent control as it is.

 

 

 

 

 

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October 21, 2011

Debate to Discuss Rent Control Question on November 8 Ballot in Hoboken October 28th at 7:30pm

Filed under: Hoboken,Politics — Tags: , , , — TheBoken @ 3:30 PM

The Hoboken Quality of  Life Coalition is hosting a debate on the ever controversial topic of rent control next Friday October 28th at the Our Lady of Grace Annex at Willow and 5th Street. The event will start at 7:30pm and be moderated by the Hoboken Reporter’s Ray Smith. Below is the release with more information….

Debate to Discuss Rent Control Question on November 8 Ballot

Submit Your Questions Prior to Debate – Hoboken, NJ

The Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition to sponsor a debate on the issues concerning rent control legislation that will appear as a question on the November 8, 2011 ballot. The debate between Hoboken Fair Housing and Mile Square Taxpayers Association will take place on Friday, October 28, 2011 starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Our Lady of Grace School Hall on Willow Avenue at 5th Street.

Hoboken Rent Control Debate 10-28-2011

The two organizations will be represented respectively by Cheryl Fallick and Dan Tumpson for Hoboken Fair Housing, and Ron Simoncini and Joe Murray for Mile Square Taxpayers Association. Ms. Fallick and Mr. Tumpson are both long term supporters of Rent Control laws, going back as far as 1981. Their latest public outreach obtained the signatures of 3,158 Hoboken voters on a petition protesting the recent amendments to the Rent Control law which ultimately led to the issue being placed on the November ballot. Mile Square Taxpayers will be represented by its Executive Director Ron Simoncini and Joe Murray, a resident of Hoboken since 1982 and an owner of rent controlled property.

The event will be moderated by Ray Smith who covers the city for The Hoboken Reporter. He has reported on the rent control issue since October 2010. 

The general public is encouraged to submit questions in advance of the event by e-mailing info@qlchoboken.org. A panel of Quality of Life board members will select the questions. Unlike previous Quality of Life events of this type, no questions will be taken from the audience the evening of the debate. Admission is free; all are invited to attend.

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